Advice for the Newly Diagnosed (Diabetes)
Myth: You Can't Have Sugar!
If you think diabetes means avoiding sugar, you can stop now. All carbohydrates (except fiber) turn into sugar in the body. When you start looking at nutritional facts you'll notice....
Date: 10/4/2007 4:10:35 AM ( 14 y ) ... viewed 2400 times
Here's some basics :
Myth: You Can't Have Sugar!
If you think diabetes means avoiding sugar, you can stop now. All carbohydrates (except fiber) turn into sugar in the body. When you start looking at nutritional facts you'll notice that just about everything has carbohydrates in it. According to the American Diabetes Association, your body needs at least 130 over a hundred carbohydrates a day to maintain healthy brain function so don't even try to cut it all out. I hope it feels liberating to know you can have your cake and eat it, too!
Count Your Carbs
When you look at nutrition facts, head straight to the number of total carbohydrates and subtract the fiber. Fiber passes right through! If you don't know how many carbs there are, you can't dose insulin properly or figure it into your diet. Right now this may seem overwhelming, but soon you will know the carb count of just about everything. I recommend getting a carb counting book Netzer Carbohydrate Counter (affiliate link). This small paperback will tell you how many carbs are in just about everything. There are other great options in the bookstore
Knowing how many carbs is in a serving is only half of the equation. Next, you need to measure your portion sizes. This is especially important for foods like potatoes and rice. For example, Elizabeth always uses a measuring cup to give herself 1/3 cup increments in rice. Without it, a portion size can be really hard to make out. Personally, I can't tell the different between 3/4 and 1 cup of rice without looking. This takes practice, but soon you'll be an expert!Rachel76 recommends switching out whole grains for refined grains whenever possible.
Complex carbs will be easier on your blood glucose levels: "Couscous and quinoa are good alternatives to rice. Sweet potatoes, turnips, and rutabega are good alternatives to white potatoes."If you have type 1 diabetes, you'll definitely want to count carbs to accurately dose insulin. Some with type 2 are able to control their diabetes using exchanges. Exchanges force you to have balanced servings of meat, fish, vegetables, grains, etc. No heavy math is involved. You can learn about exchanges here.
Food To Watch
There are a couple of foods to watch out for at first. Be cautious around pasta. Creamy sauces full of fat digest more slowly and you can find yourself high 8 hours after the meal. Tomato sauce can have a lot of sugar and lead to a big spike. Also be careful of sushi. The rice in it is really starchy and it's notoriously hard to dose for. You can get advice for sushi in our sushi guide.
Pizza can also be a challenge.Dan warns about soda: "NEVER drink fountain soda. If it's not in a bottle or can forget it. I've been made sick by what was supposed to be 'diet' soda more times than I can count...if you have to drink fountain soda put a bit on your blood test strip and check it. If there is sugar your meter will read it. Try it-it works, at least with my 'BB King' special."That said, a person with diabetes can eat whatever he or she wants! The key is knowing both how many carbs are in everything and what foods are processed differently (i.e. pizza, pasta, sushi). It's daunting at first, but you'll be surprised how quickly you can glance at anything and know intuitively what it contains.
Cookbooks with Nutritional Facts
If you find it hard to figure out exactly how many carbs are in the meals you're cooking, head to the bookstore and get a cookbook with nutritional information for each recipe
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